We’re inviting Autistic* youth to have their say!
Xenia Concerts is launching the ASD Youth Advisory Council (YAC) in 2023 to connect directly with Autistic youth, identify barriers to inclusion, and co-design autism-friendly concert experiences. The goal of this project is to integrate the voices of young Autistic* music-lovers into the design and creation of Xenia Concerts’ programming, and to integrate their insights into Xenia’s artist training resources. The five-member YAC is led by a Council Chair who self-identifies as Autistic, with support from Xenia Concerts staff. Council members will work together to design two Xenia Concerts in fall/winter 2023-2024: one in Kingston and one in Toronto.
There are 3 guiding principles of this project:
- The opinions of young people are valuable and important
- Lived experience = expertise
- The best way to improve accessibility and inclusion is through dialogue and collaboration
Rory is a musician, entrepreneur, and concert designer who takes joy in creating authentic human connections through shared musical experiences. As Executive and Artistic Director of Xenia Concerts, he works with stakeholders in the disability and neurodiversity community, presenting partners, and performing artists to co-create concert experiences that are inclusive for people who face social and systemic barriers to inclusion. Determined to widen the circle of inclusion in the performing arts, Rory is currently pursuing his Master’s in Inclusive Design at OCAD University. Rory is looking forward to working directly with young Autistic folks to help make Xenia’ Concerts more autism-friendly!
Alexandra believes everyone should have equal access to high quality music performances no matter their circumstances, and have the opportunity to be engaged and inspired by music! With over two-decades of experience in the non-profit sector as a Research Associate, Consultant, and the Executive Director of the Asperger’s Society of Ontario, Alexandra is looking forward to combining her advocacy experience with her deep passion for music while working directly with the Xenia ASD Youth Advisory Council to build a more inclusive musical concert culture that welcomes and celebrates differences!
Apply or Nominate a Candidate Today!
Xenia Concerts is seeking four council members and one Council Chair aged 14-20 who self-identify as Autistic and want to help make concerts more autism-friendly. Want to know more, apply to join the council, or nominate someone? Read our call for applications to find out more!
Thanks to Our Supporters
This project is funded in part by Unity for Autism
Want to support the Xenia Concerts ASD YAC?
*A Note on Language Use
Based on feedback from individuals within the autism community, Xenia Concerts alternates between person first (i.e, person with autism) and identity-first (i.e., Autistic person) language. We continue to follow the evolution of language use within the autism, neurodiversity, and disability communities. In one-on-one interactions, we follow the preferences of the individual with lived experience.